Manhattan Center – New York City, NY – Saturday, December 18, 2010
Dave Prazak and Kevin Kelly are on commentary.
MATCH #1: Tag Team Rematch – The All-Night Express vs. Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly
Rhett Titus and O’Reilly start the match. They go back and forth a bit and O’Reilly unleashes some early kicks to take first control. Cole tags in for some double-teaming. He keeps up the pressure and hits Titus with a leg lariat off the second rope for a one-count. King rescues his partner from further beating and the ANX tries to regroup on the floor. O’Reilly tries a dive but the ANX catches him, so Cole follows out with a second dive to wipe them out. Back in the ring Cole and O’Reilly stay in control. Titus pokes O’Reilly in the eyes and hits the shinbreaker/back suplex combination for two. King tags in and the ANX is firmly in control. O’Reilly fights back and takes out both members of ANX before making the tag. Cole comes in a house afire. He hits King with a nasty slingshot DDT on the apron! Cole kicks Titus in the head and O’Reilly hits the two butterfly suplexes / double-arm DDT combo. O’Reilly goes to the apron and NAILS King with the running missile dropkick. Cole goes up top and hits Titus with a high cross body block for two. He puts Titus on the top rope and King provides enough distraction for Titus to slip out and drop Cole face-to-top-turnbuckle, and then King follows with shotgun knees. Titus rolls Cole up for two. Cole fights back but King catches him in a bridging leg cradle suplex for two. O’Reilly makes the save and the referee loses control. All four men are down. Everyone gets back to their feet and Cole and O’Reilly appear to be in better shape. They hit King with Ride the Lightning, but it only gets two! Titus drops the top rope and O’Reilly tumbles to the floor. He then rescues King with a dropkick on Cole. ANX then hit the One Night Stand to get the win at 9:24. That was a great showing for Cole and O’Reilly, who were wrestling like they had someone to impress. ANX had really jelled as a team by this time, and the two duos worked well together.
MATCH #2: Scientific Showdown – Colt Cabana vs. TJ Perkins
This should be a nice, respectful contest. The pace is quick from the get-go, and that gives Perkins the advantage. Perkins uses a headscissors to keep Cabana on the mat, Cabana counters and uses a body scissors. They continue going back and forth with their unique offense. Cabana locks on the Billy Goat’s Curse but Perkins reaches the ropes. They continue the back and forth display until Cabana traps Perkins in a sunset flip to get the pin at 7:54. That was a nice little technical exhibition but nothing memorable.
MATCH #3: Women of Honor – Amazing Kong & Daizee Haze vs. Sara Del Rey & Serena Deeb
Haze and Del Rey start the match. They go back and forth with their usual dynamic, as Del Rey brings the power and Haze brings the speed and agility. Deeb gets the tag and prevents Haze from tagging Kong. That’s a good spot. Del Rey and Deeb go to great lengths to keep Kong out of the ring, which is wise. After several minutes of abuse Haze comes out of the Tree of Woe with a Daizee Cutter on Deeb. Kong gets the hot tag and she takes it right to Del Rey. She knocks her down and hits a big splash for two. Del Rey fights back with a kick but Kong cuts her off with a clothesline. Kong hits the Implant Buster, but it only gets a two-count. The referee loses control and all four women are in the ring at the same time. Haze hits Deeb with a Heart punch, Kong hits a back fist, Haze hits a Yakuza Kick, and Kong hits a legdrop. Ouch. Del Rey takes Kong down with a Koppo Kick. Haze hits Del Rey with a code Red for a two-count. Del Rey comes back and executes the Royal Butterfly, but it only gets two! She follows with a piledriver and Kong breaks up the cover. Deeb takes Kong down with a very impressive spear. Del Rey hits Haze with another Piledriver and that’s enough to get the pin at 8:18. That was one of the better women’s matches ROH has ever run, and it’s a shame they didn’t give it more time. Everybody was hitting everything well and they worked the formula to a T.
MATCH #4: Special Challenge Match – Eddie Edwards vs. Sonjay Dutt
I believe Kenny Omega was scheduled to face Edwards, but he got injured or something and Dutt was a last-minute replacement. They wrestle on the mat and Edwards appears to have the early advantage. Dutt offers a handshake but slaps Edwards instead. Edwards gets mad so Dutt goes to the floor and hides under the ring. Dutt comes out the other side but Edwards catches him in the act. So that was all for nothing. Dutt comes back and lands an Asai Moonsault to the back. They go to the floor and Dutt rams Edwards into the guardrail. Back in the ring Dutt continues to wear Edwards down. Edwards fights back with that face plant move that he does and some strikes. He drops Dutt on the top rope and hits a hurricanrana from the second rope. That was a unique position to do that from. A series of reversals leads to Edwards putting on the Achilles Lock, which Dutt counters with a roll-up for two. Edwards hits the Chin Checker for two. Dutt hits a springboard Superfly Splash for a near-fall. He follows with a tornado DDT and a standing shooting star press for two. Edwards creates some distance (you can tell Kelly used to announce for WWE) and hits the Boston Knee Party. They trade superkicks and Edwards wins that battle with a hard clothesline for two. Edwards goes up top and Dutt joins him, only to get shoved down and double stomped. One powerbomb and 2K1 Bomb later and Edwards is the winner at 10:43. That was a solid win for Edwards, and Dutt certainly looked game. None of it really mattered, but it was pleasant enough.
MATCH #5: ROH Legends Collide – Christopher Daniels vs. Homicide
Daniels’ TV Title is not on the line here. Mike Bennett and his trainer Brutal Bob come down to watch the match from ringside. They start slowly, as these two have faced each other numerous times before and have a great deal of respect for one another. Things quickly spill to the floor and not much happens, so they go back to the ring. Homicide hits a neckbreaker for two. He sends Daniels to the floor and wipes him out with a Tope Con Hilo. Back in the ring Homicide hits a T-bone suplex for a two-count. Daniels fights back with some of his usual. Homicide throws Daniels outside again, and then they get back in the ring. Nothing they have done so far has really amounted to anything. Daniels counters Da Cop Killa and tries the Best Moonsault Ever but can’t connect. Instead Daniels hits an enziguiri and goes for Angel’s Wings, but Homicide shoves him back into the corner, unintentionally squashing the referee. Homicide throws his shirt at Daniels and then hits an Ace Crusher to get the pin at 10:31. What the hell kind of finish was that? The match was dull leading up to it too.
MATCH #6: Six Man Tag Team Grudge Match – The Kings of Wrestling & Shane Hagadorn vs. Jay, Mark, & Mike “Papa” Briscoe
Jay and Chris Hero start the match. Hero immediately knocks Papa Mike off the apron, earning Jay’s ire. The Briscoe family isolate Hero in their half of the ring and make him pay for his transgressions. Hagadorn tries to get involved but he blows it and the Briscoes stay in control. Claudio Castagnoli tags in and after a brief period on defense he’s able to catch Jay with a gut-wrench suplex. The Kings take control but foolishly tag Hagadorn. Papa Mike tags in and puts the boots to him but Hagadorn quickly crawls to the corner and tags Castagnoli. Impressively, Papa Mike shows no fear and takes Castagnoli down with a headscissors! Del Rey pulls Mike to the floor and receives a kiss for her troubles. The referee then pours salt in the wound by ejecting Del Rey from ringside! The crowd chants “Papa Briscoe” but the Kings take advantage on Mark. Some miscommunication allows Jay to get the hot tag and he unleashes the fury. Hero slips out of a Death Valley Driver and hits a knee to the face and a huge rolling boot. Castagnoli comes in and hits a pop-up European Uppercut for two. Jay comes back with a Death Valley Driver and makes the tag. Mark hits the Froggy Bow for a two-count. He and Castagnoli then clothesline each other, and both men are down. Hagadorn and Papa Mike get the tags, but the real wrestlers intercede before anything can happen. In all the confusion Hagadorn kicks Jay right in the balls. Papa Mike comes in with a spear. Jay and Mark take out the Kings with simultaneous dives. Papa Mike teases one but Hagadorn pulls him to the floor. Back in the ring Hero hits Papa Mike with the Rolling Elbow! The Kings set Papa Mike up for the KRS-One, but Jay breaks it up and Papa Mike hits Castagnoli with a Stunner! The Briscoes then hit Hagadorn with the Doomsday Device, but Papa Mike hits the clothesline! That was awesome, and enough to get the pin at 15:49. That was tons of fun and the finish was great.
MATCH #7: ROH World Title Match – Roderick Strong vs. Davey Richards
Strong has been the Champion since 9.11.10, and this is his second defense. Richards offers a pre-match handshake but Strong declines. They take it down to the mat, where I expect a lot of the early portions of this match to take place. Richards controls first, going after the arm. They take it to the floor and Richards kicks Strong’s head off. Not literally of course. The crowd is hard for Richards to win the title here. Richards delivers another running kick to the head. Strong gets back in the ring but rolls right back out and connects with a kick to Richards’s face. Now the champion is in control. Back in the ring Strong delivers some elbow strikes a la Bryan Danielson. Strong keeps Richards on the mat and wears him down with various submission holds. Richards tries to fire up and hit the handspring enziguiri but Strong dropkicks him in the gut. They take it to the apron and Richards dropkicks Strong back to the floor. Strong tries to get back in the ring but Richards kicks him back out and hits the dangerous suicide dive, landing several rows deep in the crowd. Back in the ring Richards hits the missile dropkick. They slug it out and Richards wins the battle. Richards hits a Saito Suplex for two. He puts on a Kimura Lock. Strong powers his way out and they trade strikes. Richards hits the Alarm Clock and more strikes. He goes up top and hits the diving headbutt for a two-count. Richards puts on the Cross Armbreaker and Strong wisely reaches the ropes. Strong hits an enziguiri and the Falcon Arrow for two. The champ keeps up the intensity and locks on the Stronghold. Richards reaches the ropes. They trade shots again and the crowd is fully in support of Richards, which is a nice change of pace from the dueling chants that often accompany ROH main events. Richards hits a hard kick to the chest and a bridging German Suplex for a near-fall. They fight up on the top rope and Richards a belly-to-back superplex! Richards hits a big lariat for two. He follows with a knockout kick for another two-count. Richards puts on the Ankle Lock and Martini distracts the referee while Strong taps out! An infuriated Richards kicks Martini out of the way and lands a beautiful Shooting Star Press for a close near-fall. That would have been a hot finish. They go back around the top rope and this time Strong uses it to his advantage, hitting a backbreaker on the top turnbuckle for two. Out on the apron Strong hits an enziguiri and then drops Richards through the announcer’s table! Strong then hits a Gibson Driver on the floor! He throws Richards into the crowd, hoping for a countout win. That’s super dickish and I love it. Richards barely makes it back in the ring at the count of 19. Strong immediately hits a gutbuster and the Gibson Driver but Richards kicks out! The champ then locks on the Stronghold. Richards counters that to the Ankle Lock, which Strong counters to his own Ankle Lock, and then Richards counters to the Cloverleaf! Whew. They’re not done countering though, as Strong turns that into the LeBell Lock. Richards turns that into a cradle for two. Back on their feet Richards hits a huge lariat for two. Richards follows with a Gibson Driver for another near-fall. He locks on the Ankle Lock but is too exhausted to keep it on. Strong drills Richards with a knee strike, an enziguiri, and a torture rack backbreaker. He hits the Sick Kick for two! Strong hits the vertical suplex into a backbreaker, a superkick, and another Sick Kick and Richards kicks out again! Now Strong locks in the Stronghold and Richards passes out at 30:28. These two are natural opponents and though this match was 30 minutes it didn’t really feel that long. The crowd was in the right state of mind for this one, cheering Richards like crazy and booing Strong with equal fervor. This may be my favorite match between the two of them.
MATCH #8: Non-Sanctioned Fight Without Honor: The Final Battle at Final Battle – Kevin Steen vs. El Generico – If Steen loses, he will quit Ring of Honor; If Generico loses he will unmask
They start cautiously, trying to psyche each other out but that doesn’t last long. Generico boots Steen to the floor and wipes him out with a dive. He finds a chain and wraps it around Steen’s neck, then hits him in the face with it. Back in the ring Generico continues the assault with the chain, hitting Steen with it and wrapping it around his forehead before delivering the Yakuza Kick. Obviously, Steen is busted open now. Generico uses a table as well, and he has been dominant thus far. He brings out a ladder and drills Steen in the face with it. Steen comes back with a boot to the gut and a powerbomb on the edge of the ring frame. He starts piling barricades on Generico and hits a Frog Splash off the apron. Steen tries to throw a guardrail at Generico, who luckily moves out of the way. Generico counters a powerbomb with a back drop. Back in the ring Generico uses the ladder as a weapon. Steen backdrops Generico on the ladder and the crowd chants “ROH.” Generico is looking worse for wear as Steen hits a big powerbomb. Steen goes outside and brings in a couple of chairs to abuse Generico with. He hits a Codebreaker with assist from the chair and then lands the somersault legdrop, also on the chair. Now Generico is also pouring blood. Steen sets up a ladder but Generico catches him with a Michinoku Driver right on the ladder! Generico then hits an exploder suplex into the ladder in the corner. He follows that with the half-nelson suplex onto the ladder for a two-count. Steen rolls to the floor and Generico goes for the swinging DDT but Steen throws a steel barricade cover into his face. Steen launches Generico into another barricade cover and then produces a table. He sets a ladder up between the apron and the guardrail, and then sets a table up on top of that. Generico recovers and hit the missile swinging DDT. That was awesome. Back in the ring Generico runs right into a superkick. Steen tries the Package Piledriver on a chair but Generico reverses it to the half-nelson suplex. Generico then hits the Brainbuster but it only gets two. He goes for the running Yakuza Kick, but Steen avoids it. Steen goes to the top rope and Generico slams him through the table and onto the ladder! Back in the ring Generico hits the Package Piledriver but Steen kicks out! They take it to the apron and Generico hits the Brainbuster! Steve Corino comes out to make the save. He blasts Generico with a lariat and then knocks out referee Todd Sinclair. Corino goes for a steel chair shot but Colt Cabana comes out and runs him off. Cabana then launches the chair at Steen’s face but again it only gets two! Generico goes for a running Yakuza Kick but he accidentally nails the referee! Sinclair crashes off the apron through a table to the floor. Steen kicks Generico in the nuts and hits the Package Piledriver. Bryce Remsburg comes out to make the count, but he can only count two so Steen hits him with the Package Piledriver too! Steen hits Generico with the Package Piledriver on a chair and Paul Turner comes out to make the count but once again only gets two! They fight to the top rope and Generico avoids a super brainbuster and drops Steen face-first on the exposed steel. Generico hits the running Yakuza Kick and then finally lands the Turnbuckle Brainbuster! Amazingly that only gets two. Generico picks up the steel chair, and Steen tries to appeal to him with the mask he stole from him. Steen begs for mercy but Generico KILLS him with the chair to finally get the pin at 31:12. That was brutal and awesome, and the only way that feud could have possibly ended. I knew how long it was and that immediately had me thinking it was too long, but I was wrong. This was one of the best hardcore spectacles ever in ROH and one of the best matches in either Steen or Generico’s career. I missed a handful of shows in 2010 but I believe this is a strong contender for 2010 ROH Match of the Year.
This show ends with a killer one-two punch, and the main event was the culmination of one of ROH’s greatest feuds ever. That alone is enough to recommend this show but toss in a couple of fun undercard matches and this is a show that flows easy.
Tags: El Generico, Final Battle, Kevin Steen, Roderick Strong, ROH